What's Trending in Japan in 2020 - Top Ten Japanese Trends
1. Masks: Besides the coronavirus trending in Japan right now and an accompanying travel warning issued, if you do travel to Japan in 2020 these are the trends I've been reading and researching most prominent:
2. Neon Is still BIG: The first thing you'll notice when travelling to Japan is the huge neon streets, especially in Toyko.
3. Secret Alleyways : you find people turning randomly into tiny alleyways filled with hole-in-the-wall restaurants.
Hidden alley bars, Tokyo, video below (reminds me of the Haruki Murakami book, After Dark)
4. Temples : temples are a part of Japan, in any year, and if you visit Japan in 2020 you'll see the calm tranquility of temples and shrines contrasted with the busy rush of the city and the sometimes overwhelming change of culture.
Shrines in Kyoto, video below
5. Seasonal decorations & products: There is seasonal everything all over Japan. There are many types of limited edition food and drink. Spring has the famous cherry blossoms that lead to shops, restaurants, ATMs, and even train stations are being decorated for the season. The limited edition of different snacks and drinks. There are bakeries all making their own seasonal freshly-baked pastries, meaning there are the varieties. Every season has more new limited seasonal decorations and more seasonal products, there are always new seasonal surprises.
Seasonal Sakura Goods in Japan, video
6. Animal cafés: . Cat cafes have been a trend for years now, and have started popping up in western countries now. However, Japan has been pushing the envelope, and there are animal cafes available everywhere, with all sorts of niches. You can visit a cat café with only has one species of cat – like, a Bengal cat café, or Siamese cat café. From there, hedgehog cafés and rabbit cafés have become widespread. Owl cafes, while the logistics are very difficult, are quite popular. There are bird cafes and shiba inu cafes. Some café owners go further and there are reptile cafes, mini-pig cafes, goat cafes and even penguin cafes.
Owl cafe video in Toyko
7. Tapioca balls are everywhere in Japan: Along the same lines as cafes, tapioca has become a huge trend in Japan in 2020. In the West, bubble tea has been around for years. But in Japan, a re-emergence has occurred over the last year. More and more tapioca stands keep appearing in Japan, usually with very cute, themed designs. There will over be huge queues, sometimes over 1 hour long, at certain tapioca stands. Tapioca is definitely the current drink of choice among the young and the fashionable. All the menus will have something with tapioca.
Tapioca boom 2020 in Japan, video below:
8. Pokemon Go in Japan: Along the same lines, the game Pokemon Go had its spotlights in the West but has become less and less played over the last few years. However, in Japan, it never lost popularity. In fact, its quite a popular for all ages. I.e. Elderly people are ‘protecting’ in their nearest park. The ‘Community Day’ feature does involve a lot of people making effort.
Pokemon Go video in Japan
Harajuka video taken in Japan
10. Toyko streetware 2020